Canadian penny’s Google Doodle sendoff a sign of the changing times



Canada’s penny will soon be no more as today marks the beginning of the end for our one-cent coin. The folks over at Google sent off the little guy in style with a new Google Doodle, pictured above.

Of course, don’t expect the penny on to be the last one you see. The coins will remain in circulation and be phased out gradually as retailers come on board. The federal government released guidelines recommending that prices be rounded up or down to the nearest five cents, whichever is closest (although the guidelines aren’t binding and retailers can round how they like).

Canada follows in the footsteps of many other nations that have eliminated their one-cent coins, such as Australia, New Zealand and Israel. In fact, the latter two have also eliminated their five-cent pieces. In all likeliness, it’s only a matter of time before we say farewell to the nickel.

And yet, these eliminations will become increasingly moot as we move away from cash transactions toward more cost-effective digital payments. Near-field communication could spell the death of physical payment—if not absolutely, then at least effectively. For one, digital payments don’t require rounding; indeed, if you’re paying by debit or credit, you’ll still pay to the penny.

But the coin itself will soon be long gone, memorialized only by collectors and the thing that will likely kill cash as we know it: the digital revolution. Perhaps it’s suiting that Google, which has a mobile wallet of its own, offered a personal goodbye.

You can follow @trevormelanson on Twitter.